“touch: cannot change times on”

Today the production team reports the following error when They run a batch process during last night;

touch: cannot change times on TRACE_UPDATE_NEWS_CLIENTS.log: Permission denied

The problem is that the TRACE_UPDATE_NEWS_CLIENTS.log file already exists but with a different owner. If you perform a “touch” from your user on Unix/Linux several times will never give you problems if you do a “touch” of a file that is from another user will give this error.

The error comes technically speaking “can not change times”. When you run the touch, this below calls the “system call” utime, to update the time of the file, but not having permission because not be the owner of the file gives the error. If you want to see all the calls that occur under this or any other command have to use a OS profiler such as dtrace, truss, etc.



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